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Jan 26, 2009 05:45 PM

MSP: West 7th Neighborhood/St. Paul

I drive by a bunch of restaurants (Bennet's, DiGidio's, Glockenspiel, Day by Day Cafe, etc.) all the time but haven't tried any of them...are any of these gems? Or, also, importantly, are any "kitchen nightmares" with dubious food/cleanliness?

I would like to support those businesses, but don't want to risk the $ without a recommendation.


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  1. I've been to Day by Day Cafe for brunch. Was very busy. Service was very slow but done with a smile and was pleasant. Food was ok - not great. Many other places for brunch in the same area in my opinion worth your $. However, it's less than $10 to eat there-so it wouldn't entirely break the bank.

    I have never personally eaten at DiGidio's but I've never heard bad things about it - in fact, I hear good things about this place. It's been around for a good many years and prices are affordable. If you go, let me know how it is-I've been meaning to get over there.

    1. We have been to Glockenspiel a number of times. We enjoy their German food--their Friday fish fry is just ok,I don't think it's worth the price. The sauerkraut and bratwurst are excellent. My German grandmother gave the sauerbraten a compliment, and she would only approve something authentic.

      Avoid it on a Friday during Lent. It's crazy crowded for the fish fry.

      6 Replies
      1. re: LizzieB_MSP

        Agreed, the fish fry is OK, nothing spectacular. Good beer, though.

        DeGidio's is like your classic red checkered table cloth Italian restaurant -- it's not going to win any awards, but it's cheap and for what it is, pretty decent food.

        Mancini's is a classic old-school steakhouse with a lounge in the truest sense of the term. Again, the food is nothing to write home about, but it's a fun place to eat.

        Sham Rock's is the Nook's sister restaurant. The burgers are fantastic.

        1. re: mncharm

          It's a shame the steak quality isn't better at Mancini's. The lounge is great, and the garlic bread is heavenly, but the rest of the food is just so-so.

          1. re: BigE

            Agreed. The place itself is a riot. It holds a special place in my heart -- was there a few springs ago and what should arrive but Lord Stanley's Cup. I had the pleasure of sipping Dom Perignon out of it -- quite the memory.

            1. re: BigE

              I personally think Mancini's steak is pretty decent considering you get the "full meal deal" for only $20 or so. Sirloin won't be as tender as a ribeye or even strip steak but if it is cooked nice to a medium rare it still pretty tasty. Nothing else I have eaten there has been memorable. I ordered the side of mushrooms once for the steak. What appeared seemed like it had been recently dumped out of a can into the bowl.

            2. re: mncharm

              I like the hot dago sandwiches at DeGidio's. Otherwise, I've found it to be a pretty dark, ordinary, old-school kind of place.


          2. I like Day By Day Cafe. It had good food - nothing mind-blowing, but it's a nice place to go for an above-average breakfast. I love the ambiance of the place - it rambles through several rooms - and there's nice patio for summer.


            If you want to branch out, I hear good things about the Downtowner Woodfire Grill. But I don't hear good things about Supatra's Thai (see ).

            Way down at the west end of W. 7th, try the multi-ethnic strip mall at the west end - Queen of Sheba and Dukem (both Ethiopian), La Hacienda, and a Russian deli.


            3 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Have you been to Dukem? Very curious, but have not so curious husband :(

              1. re: MayrMN

                Nope, I haven't been to Dukem yet (I don't get out enough). But another chowhound reported at the end of this thread:



                1. re: MayrMN

                  Ah, who needs him? I'll go with you.

              2. I also like Day By Day. For the food, and their mission. They employ people in recovery. Hence, the name Day By Day.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                  I particularly like the Earth Breakfast there. Eggs in hashbrowns with onions and melted cheese over.

                  1. re: karykat

                    I like their patio when the weather's nice. (Today=weather not nice.) Really a nice space.

                    Also, Il Vesco Vino's new digs down the street (near'ish to the XCel) are pretty swell. That patio should be glorious come spring time. Based on one lunch visit, food's not bad, either.


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Yes, I love the Day by Day patio. And will be trying the Il Vesco Vino one. As soon as it warms up around here for real.

                    2. re: karykat

                      It's not on the menu, but if you order a Red Earth they top it off with salsa.

                      I've been going to Day by Day since the very early 80s, when it was smoky and dark and like entering a artists' squat house or ramshackle mountain cabin filled with all your old hippie friends. I loved it then and love it still, for historical reasons if no other.

                      Plus they make a great blueberry buckwheat pancake, or walnut/bananna/buckwheat. With real maple syrup for the asking (and spending...).

                      1. re: clepro

                        And very good coffee, as I recall. (It's been awhile.) You can get Dunn Brothers for the asking (and spending!)

                        1. re: clepro

                          I think that's a good policy to make the real syrup available for the asking and for a price. Occasionally I go to that place at Selby and Dale for pancakes and I'm always tempted to bring my own syrup. Maybe discreetly in a little vial in my purse.

                          1. re: karykat

                            Bon Vie is the place you like for pancakes? (Or, did you mean Louisiana Cafe...or whatever it's called)


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I meant Louisiana Cafe. For just a place to drop into for a quick basic breakfast.

                              I had a great breakfast/lunch at Bon Vie the last time I was there.

                    3. I love West 7th. I can't think of a Minneapolis equivalent of a district where there are so many places that have that earnest working-man's retreat vibe--at least not ones that are going for some kind of irony.

                      Day by day--I like breakfast there. Buckwheat pancakes are great.

                      DeGidios--best hot dago in town

                      Glockenspiel--great home-made tasting German food. If you don't like German food, it might not be your favorite.

                      Mancini's--food is OK, but I think a good value for the price. Mostly I go, because it's the type of place my family would go for celebration dinners in 1972

                      Bennett's--smaller than Mancini's, but pretty much the same--except I like the food a lot better.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Orange Julius

                        Hot dago better than the Dari-ette? Say it ain't so!